The Kam Tin Tree House, located in Pak Wai Tsuen, Kam Tin, Yuen Long, is an ancient Banyan tree whose heavy aerial roots and trunks has wrapped around a stone house, the roots sinking into its brick wall and granite door frame. It is considered as one of Hong Kong's most important living trees.
According to various folklores, the stone structure beneath the mamoth tree used to be a Tin Hau Temple or a Q’ing dynasty village study hall. In another tale, the structure was said to be the house of one of the most influential families in the New Territories during the olden times.
As the story goes, the owner left the house in the early Ch'ing period, following the imperial edict on coastal evacuation, and never returned. In the course of time, the adjacent Banyan tree grew bigger and enveloped the house completely.
Today, the tree boasts of a crown spread of almost 40 meters wide. Some of the ancient house's parts has disintegrated over the years but its form is still cast by the tree's roots and trunks.
Believed to be more than 340 years old, the tree has become a sort of landmark in Kam Tin. Because of its impressive age, cultural significance and colorful history, the tree was included in the list of "Old and Valuable Trees" by the Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department in 2004.
To reach the Kam Tin Tree House, take MTR and get off at Kam Sheung Road Station; take exit C and walk to the site for about 25 mins; or take No. 601 mini bus and get off at Shui Mei Tsuen.
Walking distance from the tree house are other heritage sites such as the Yi Tai Study Hall, Pin Mo Kiu, Ching Lok Tang Kung Chi and Cheung Chun Yuen.